Anti-CD20 Agents for Multiple Sclerosis: Spotlight on Ocrelizumab and Ofatumumab
Until recently, in the pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), the contribution of B cells has been largely underestimated, and the disease was considered a T-cell-mediated disorder. However, newer evidence shows that B cells play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of MS via antigen-driven autoantibody responses and through the cross regulation of T-helper cells. As B cells express the surface molecule CD20 at all points of differentiation, it provides a specific target for monoclonal
... monoclonal antibodies, and the development and clinical testing of anti-CD20 antibody treatments for MS have been successful. After some observations, some small clinical trials found positive effects for the first anti-CD20 therapeutic rituximab in MS; newer agents have been specifically evaluated, resulting in the development of ocrelizumab and ofatumumab. Ocrelizumab, a humanized anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, was approved in March 2017 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is also the first proven therapy to reduce disability progression in primary progressive MS. This is particularly significant considering that disease-modifying treatment options are few for both primary and secondary progressive MS. Ofatumumab, a fully human anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, that binds a distinct epitope, has been further investigated in phase 3 trials for relapsing forms of MS. In this review, we discuss in detail these two anti-CD20 agents and their advent for treatment of MS.